The two sides of volunteering

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By Janice Chaka and The Career Introvert. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

I want to talk about volunteering, something I've done for the majority of my working life in one way or another. And yes, there are upsides to volunteering and giving back to the community, your local community, the international community and people in general. And there are also downsides. But let's talk about the benefits, first of all. Volunteering can be seen as a vital service to your community. There are many organisations that rely on volunteers to help them get done what they need, doing charities and nonprofits.

Basically, it often takes the care and empathy from volunteers to provide help the community's needs. Now, there might be a lot of different organisations that thrives on volunteers, and it can provide benefits to your life as well as the people that you are helping. It can help you build more relationships when you're part of a team connexions form learning. This affects three out of five Americans. According to Signees 2020 Loneliness Index. Loneliness needs depression and anxiety and can wreak havoc on people's immune systems and the economy.

As we have seen recently, when you start volunteering virtually or otherwise to meet new people who share your values but are different from you, from those you help and from those you work with, they are all different. Creating new relationships and opening your life to more opportunities, knowledge and understanding of the world is a huge benefit from volunteering. And the great thing is you can do a lot of virtual volunteering, especially right now. But even before I certainly did virtual volunteering and it can be such tasks as compiling data during analyst work, it doesn't necessarily have to be the kind of work we have to be out talking to people all the time.

It could just be creating a spreadsheet for people so they can see where the money's coming from or where it's going. It could be leading a coworking sessions. There are so many different ways to volunteer to help organisations. One of the other benefits is it increases your knowledge and understanding of others only volunteer. You get a clearer idea of how other people live differently or similarly to you, opening your perspective and getting a new understanding of the world and the people within it.

This increases your compassion and empathy, and this knowledge allows you to live a more positive life with more intention and knowing empathy, where people are coming from and the struggles and maybe how you can help them. It can also provide you a sense of purpose. It doesn't have to be overall purpose, but a purpose while doing this role. When you know your purpose is in life, is it to understand he one where fit best within a community, within the world, within your role and your job?

This knowledge also helps bring a greater sense of happiness and success. Most of time, because you feel fulfilled, it helps you feel fulfilled. Purpose and fulfilment do tend to go hand in hand, and volunteering can give you a sense of direction. It can help you figure out things that you do like and don't like work that you would like to do and work that you do not do well without the added pressure of it being for a job and for money and, you know, to pay the bills so you can use it in a way to test different types of roles and things that you would like to try out.

Also, I can give you a sense of pride because of what you're doing and the difference you're making in people's lives. So these are all various methods where volunteering can bring a benefit to your life. But please not let's not overlook the downsides of volunteering so many times you can volunteer and have your work taken for granted or basically have an organisation use you instead of paying somebody, instead of paying somebody to do the work part time, paying a reasonable wage, just get so used to having a volunteer.

They forget that if they actually want to have a thriving business, they should be able to afford to pay someone that will. Sometimes being a volunteer is a thankless role. Sometimes you do not get fat for being a volunteer. You don't get any praise, you don't get any recommendations. Nothing comes up on your LinkedIn profile. Sometimes it is a thankless job and you might feel that you are being taken advantage of. So just be aware when you're volunteering what you get out of the situation as well as the organisation.

Thanks for listening. This is Janice from The Career Introvert, helping you build your brand and get hired. Looking forward to speaking to you next week. Have a great rest of your week.

226 episodes